NHL DFS Picks Today: Edmonton Stack Stands Out (April 6)

There are just six games on tonight’s NHL DFS slate, and there is one very expensive spot with a lot of mid-priced players and lines around it. Let’s look at a few high-priced options and then dig for some cost-effective selections. As always, Stokastic members should double-check the Discord before lock for roster updates. If you’re not signed up for our NHL DFS tools, you’re missing out on the data that helped me make these picks!

NHL DFS Picks Today: Lineup Decisions, Expert Advice & More

NHL DFS Picks Today: Center

Auston Matthews (TOR at MON)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

After a brief downturn in late February into early March, Auston Matthews has picked up his unbelievable production pace once again with eight goals, nine assists, and 5.8 shots per game over the last three weeks. His MVP-caliber season rolls on as he’s up to 63 goals and 99 points with 4.4 shots per game and even though his usual winger Mitch Marner is back in the lineup, he will remain with the wingers he’s had during this recent hot streak.

That new top line has been tremendous, too, by generating 48 shots, 4.7 expected goals, and 6.4 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. Our center is still getting good levels of ice time, too, by averaging 20:44 per appearance in the games Marner missed.

Matthews gets a great matchup to continue his torrid streak, as Montreal’s shutdown top line has given up 2.9 expected goals and 2.8 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 since March 1. The Canadiens have also taken 4.3 minor penalties per game over the last six weeks, the third-most in the league and tops for any team on tonight’s slate. That should give Matthews plenty of power play opportunities tonight.

On DraftKings, there are two centers priced in their own tier (three on FanDuel with Jack Hughes). On DK, Matthews and Connor McDavid are neck-and-neck by projections but the former has a much better special teams matchup. Both are in play, and DFS users must decide what to do, but there are reasons to lean Matthews tonight.

Alex Newhook (MON vs. TOR)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

On the other side of the Toronto game is Alex Newhook, who skates on the second line and won’t see much of the Matthews trio.

Since returning from injury in February, Newhook has 16 points in 25 games, which works to a 53-point pace in a full season.

One key to Newhook’s solid production has been forming a solid second-line duo with Joel Armia; with that pair on the ice, the Canadiens are creating 2.6 expected goals and 3.4 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. They have achieved that with a few different wingers, the latest being Brendan Gallagher, and their small sample of 54 minutes together has led to them outshooting the opposition 33-28 and outscoring them 4-2

The other key to Newhook’s value has been the fact he’s averaging over 17 minutes a game since his return, largely thanks to skating on the team’s top power-play unit. Over the last six weeks, Toronto ranks outside the top-10 teams by both shots allowed and goals allowed per minute on the penalty kill, so this isn’t an awful special team matchup for Newhook.

Of all centers priced under $4,000 on DK tonight, Newhook is fifth overall by fantasy point projections but the highest outside of the Philadelphia-Columbus game. DFS players not looking at that matchup for their lineup, but needing a cheap pivot, will want to consider this middle-man.

Despite Newhook averaging 8.3 faceoffs per game this season and 12.5 per game since the Trade Deadline, he’s listed as a winger on FanDuel. So, users on that site looking for a cheap center will want to consider Max Domi (TOR, $4,700).



NHL DFS Picks Today: Winger

Jack Hughes (NJ at OTT)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Over the last 27 games, or the last third of the season, Hughes has produced 11 goals and 16 assists while averaging 4.7 shots per game.

He reached the DraftKings shot bonus 12 times in that span, so there have been some solid DFS performances even when he’s failed to score.

A big part of being able to keep up that shot rate is that Hughes is still getting a lot of ice time; his last 10 games alone have seen him surpass the 19-minute mark in all of them, the 20-minute mark in eight of them, and average 21:39. It is a wonder what his production would look like if he wasn’t shooting under 9% in that 27-game span.

New Jersey is in Ottawa, and the home team has struggled mightily on the penalty kill recently. Over the last six weeks, the Senators are 20th by expected goals against while short-handed and 30th by actual goals against. Poor goaltending has made a meal of their penalty kill, and that’s bled over to other offensive strengths, too. It gives Hughes a great special team matchup where he can thrive and that’s part of the reason he leads all DK wingers by fantasy point projections by a wide margin.

Hughes is listed as a center on FanDuel despite not having taken a faceoff since the first week of January, so for an expensive winger on that site, consider the top flank on the other side of this game, Brady Tkachuk (OTT, $8,500).

Travis Konecny (PHI at CLS)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Philadelphia is playing their second game in as many nights, so the rest advantage is not on their side. Regardless, they’re a team fighting for a playoff spot.

That fight has led to Travis Konecny earning a bit more ice time lately, averaging 20:25 per contest over his last 10 outings against 20:01 in the 10 games prior.

More importantly, he has been reunited with Tyson Foerster of late, and that winger duo has produced well offensively for the Flyers this season: 2.8 expected goals and 2.6 actual goals per 60 minutes in over 380 minutes together. There is even a bit of unluckiness going on as the team is shooting 7.3% with them on the ice and over 9% with them on the ice separately. If that luck turns, they will fill the net.

If a team has to play a back-to-back, facing Columbus is one of the better spots to do it. The Blue Jackets are dead last by expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 and 29th by shots against on the penalty kill over the last six weeks. They also lost goalie Daniil Tarasov due to injury and he’s been much better at 5-on-5 than starter Elvis Merzlikins. All this gives Konecny good matchups in all offensive situations.

Konecny lags behind teammate Owen Tippett by fantasy point projections but that is a matter of Tippett’s shot volume. That is helpful, but all the ice time that Konecny earns, on top of the great matchup in Columbus, makes him an appealing one-off option for this slate.  

Kirill Marchenko (CLS vs. PHI)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

There has been more ice time for Kirill Marchenko lately: he has averaged 18:50 per outing over his last five appearances, skating at least 16:29 in each game (season average of 16:25).

He has managed three goals, five points, and 19 shots in those five games, and has pushed himself to tie his 21-goal rookie season from a year ago.

Of the remaining (healthy) Columbus forwards, Marchenko is second in shots per minute over the team’s last 20 games, averaging three shots every 20 minutes. The additional ice time he’s been receiving has been a big boost to his per-game peripheral production.

Our winger is catching the Flyers at a good time, too. Not only are they playing their second game in as many nights, but the team’s goaltending is dead last by save percentage since the All-Star break, a span of 27 games. Their elite penalty kill has also fallen off, ranking 16th by shots against and 24th by goals against per minute over the last six weeks. Marchenko’s rise in ice time includes top power play minutes, sp all this is great news for him tonight.

At his position, Marchenko leads fantasy point projections on DK for those priced $4,000 or less, and he is second on FD for those priced at $5,000 or less. There will be a lot of ownership on both sides of this game due to pricing, but he remains an option as a one-off salary-saving winger.

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NHL DFS Picks Today: Defender

MacKenzie Weegar (CGY vs. EDM)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

In the 14 games since the Trade Deadline – when Calgary traded a couple of key defencemen – Weegar has four goals and 10 assists while averaging 2.5 shots and 3.3 blocks per game. That stretch has added nearly two minutes per game to his overall total when compared to the 20 games prior, which has helped him to three DK shot bonuses and eight DK block bonuses in that 14-game span.

That immense peripheral production has helped push Weegar to the same DraftKings points per game mark this season (13.0) as Edmonton’s Evan Bouchard, who has put up 33 more assists and 30 more points than Weegar.

Of all blue liners on DraftKings tonight, Weegar is third by price and ranks third by fantasy point projections. That makes him a fine relative value. That value suffers on FanDuel where peripherals don’t matter as much, but his point production keeps him in play, as does his single-digit ownership projection.

Alexandre Carrier (NSH at NYI)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

As Nashville marches towards the playoffs, they’ve been altering the ice time for their blue line. That has led to Alexandre Carrier earning 20:23 per game over his last 10 games, nearly a full minute higher than the 19:28 from his prior 20 (healthy) games.

The importance of that is Carrier leads the Predators in shot-blocking rate this season, averaging over 2.0 every 20 minutes.

More ice time helps production for almost any player regardless of their fantasy profile, but for a punt-priced defenseman that can offer solid peripherals with more ice time, it can be a big boost to his upside on DraftKings with their block bonus.  

Among rearguards priced under $3,000 on DK and $4,000 on FD, Carrier ranks first and third by fantasy point projections. As with many punt options, his ownership projections are very low at 1.2% on DK and under 1% on FD. For DFS players needing a punt defenseman, Carrier should be at (or near) the top of the list.

NHL DFS Picks Today: Goalie

Semyon Varlamov (NYI vs. NSH)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

On the season, Varlamov has yet to allow more than four goals in any single game and has not allowed more than three in any starts since the All-Star break a couple of months ago. He has also faced at least 30 shots in five straight outings as the Islanders’ new line combinations have not necessarily been conducive to tremendous defense.

New York doesn’t kill penalties well, but they’re also taking the fewest minor penalties per game over the last six weeks, so Varlamov is not likely to face a lot of power play shots, and that’s good for his upside.

The Stokastic GoalieStats section has Varlamov facing the second-most shots of any goalie projected to start tonight but is outside the five highest projected goals against marks. That is a good mix for DFS value on DK and a cheap price on FD makes him viable where the win is more important.

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NHL DFS Top Stacks Today

EDM1: Leon Draisaitl – Connor McDavid – Zach Hyman

This Edmonton trio is creating 4.2 expected goals and 5.7 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 under new coach Kris Knoblauch. That goal-scoring rate is more than double the league average, which is obscene.

The team played last night, which gives Calgary the rest advantage, but Edmonton has scored 27 goals in seven games that were the second of a back-to-back this season, so they are capable of a big night regardless. The good news for this perfectly correlated line is Calgary is 21st by shots against and 29th by goals against per minute on the penalty kill since trading two key defensemen at the Trade Deadline

Edmonton’s top line will chew up over half the salary cap on both DK and FD, so the decision to play them depends on what DFS users want to do with their lineups. They are priced in a tier of their own, which is keeping a lot of ownership off them. Despite carrying the highest top-2 stack probability, there won’t be many DFS players rostering them.

OTT1: Brady Tkachuk – Shane Pinto – Drake Batherson

It is a good matchup for Ottawa tonight as New Jersey sits 27th by expected goals against and 24th by actual goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 over the last six weeks.

The goals against have gotten a bit better since acquiring two new goalies at the Trade Deadline, but the team still ranks 20th in the league through that span. This Ottawa trio has had trouble scoring in that post-Deadline span, but a lot of it boils down to small-sample luck, as they’re creating 2.7 expected goals per 60 minutes but just 1.5 actual goals as they’re shooting 5.2%. This is a good matchup to see their fortunes turn on offense.

On both DK and FD, this Ottawa line grades as the third-most likely stack to be a top-2 stack, and their ownership is projected lower than that probability. It gives them positive leverage on both sites, and makes them a solid tournament option.  

*Additional stats used for our NHL DFS picks today column from Natural Stat Trick

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Michael has been writing about fantasy hockey for over a decade, and has been playing Daily Fantasy for just as long. He has contributed to both the Chicago Tribune and the Boston Herald, has worked for Rogers Sportsnet in Canada and is now in his fifth season with Stokastic. He lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, and can be reached on Twitter @SlimCliffy.

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